Marriage is the most sacred and important relationship that we can experience on Earth and it is viewed as vitally important in Heaven.
During Jesus’ time, divorce was a very common thing that occurred. While His specific teachings in Matthew 19 are the subject of controversial debate today, the fact remains that marriage is a relationship that was founded by God.
Jesus was approached by the Pharisees with questions about divorce. He first responded regarding marriage, referring to God’s original purpose for marriage.
In Matthew 19 we read, “3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
With the creation of both man and woman, God founded the beginning of the world and taught us about the sacred union of marriage. We can note from this that the institution of marriage is something that God declared important. It was meant to be between a man and a woman from the beginning of time. They were created for each other.
Marriage is a union that has social, physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects that make it unique to any other relationship. Within marriage, men and women may form families and bring children into the world to raise together.
Due to the important nature of this relationship, it is not acceptable to divorce for any reason from the marriage. Jesus makes it clear that only under certain circumstances is this acceptable.
In Matthew 19 He says later, “ I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
Here, Jesus addresses again the necessity of not divorcing for reasons that may be fixable – with resources today like counseling and therapy and working together to overcome differences.
He recognizes that in the case of infidelity or sexual transgression that divorce is acceptable. The broader meaning, we can glean from this is at it is important to enter into marriage seriously and carefully.
Marriage is not something that should be done for social reasons. Marriage should be considered a serious commitment between husband and wife, where only under the worst circumstances should divorce be considered an option.